Cover high resReviewed by Sara Drake

Ms. Gibson presents the stories of 26 amazing women who broke records and pushed the envelope of aviation. Familiar names such as Amelia Earhart feature alongside lesser known women such as Valentina Grizodubova and Violet Cowden. Each chapter highlights the adventures and accomplishments of a different woman. Along the way, the reader learns about the history of flight and the participation of women in many notable world events.

I grew up with two parents who flew a small plane. As a result, I spent many happy childhood hours at the local airport. So, I come by my love of flying and airplanes genetically! I also have a longstanding interest in books about “uppity” women, those brave individuals who challenged the gender bias and succeeded. This book wrapped those two interests together in a very delightful package.

Despite being written for a younger audience, I found Women Aviators to be a fascinating read. In fact, I read it in one setting. I had considered myself pretty well informed about the history of women in aviation but many of the women featured in this book were new to me. I was particularly surprised to learn that women pilots flew combat missions for the Soviet Union during World War II. I knew nothing about that page in history and am now determined to read more about it.

I have toured numerous Air Force museums and had become familiar with the tales of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) that ferried planes during World War II. Their contribution to the U.S. war effort went unrecognized for many years and only recently has it become fairly common knowledge. I enjoyed reading more about some of the impressive women who joined the WASP.

Ms. Gibson has a clear writing style. My only complaint was the occasional inconsistencies in reading level. Most of the book read simply but elegantly, appropriate to many age levels. However, occasional phrases and passages were written toward an elementary school level audience. While aware that the intended audience was much younger, I found the inconsistencies jarring. Not to mention, I have always found the tendency to write children’s books with an unnecessary level of simplicity. What do I mean? Well, children require an age appropriate vocabulary and explanation of concepts they might not be familiar with but they do not need plenty of adverbs (especially the overuse of words like “very”).

However, that was my only complaint. I recommend this book for children and adults alike. Anyone interested in history or aviation should enjoy this look at some of the lesser known heroines.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Sara Drake has been an avid reader since a young age. She has both a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and a Master’s in History.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by FSB Associates. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.